Understanding the consolidated tax levy

A letter to the editor was published on February 26th from Mark Eaton discussing the consolidated tax levy for a resident of Marshalltown and blame was cast upon the City for the ranking of 71st highest consolidated tax levy out of 943 cities. First, I would like to point out that the information Mr. Eaton used was from fiscal year 2016. We are currently in fiscal year 2018, and that information is available on the Department of Management website as well. In FY18, there were no changes in rankings amongst the group of cities with a population for 20,000 to 29,999.

The term consolidated means to combine multiple items into one, but Mr. Eaton only referenced the City’s tax levy in his interpretation of the consolidated tax levy. What was missing was the other taxing entities that are part of the consolidated tax levy. The City provided this information in multiple Budgeting 101 sessions over the summer of 2017, as we worked to build an understanding of how property taxes work. For the year of July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, the tax levies of all tax entities for a resident of Marshalltown in the Marshalltown Community School District are the following:

• City of Marshalltown: $15.281 (37%)

• Marshalltown Comm. School District: $17.949 (43%)

• Marshall County: $6.715 (16%)

• Iowa Valley Comm. College: $1.368 (3%)

• ISU Extension: $0.144 (less than 1%)

• County Assessor: $0.239 (less than 1%)

• State of Iowa: $.0031 (less than 1%)

To say the City of Marshalltown is responsible for a consolidated tax levy of $41.703 is incorrect. The City can only control our portion of the tax levy, which for the current year was 37 percent.

The public hearing on March 5, will be on a proposed tax levy of $15.281, which is the same as what you see above for the City of Marshalltown. The City Council implemented strategies to keep your City property tax rate at the same level for three years in a row. This active control of the City tax levy demonstrates how the City is managing our portion of the consolidated tax levy in a responsible manner.